|La Défense: Europe’s Largest Business District Sets a New Standard for Sustainable Development|
|Tuesday, 26 March 2013 00:00 | Written by Matthew Monfuletho | Blog Entry|
From every corner of the globe, an estimated eight million visitors flock to Paris every year to marvel at world-famous architectural wonders such as Notre Dame, the Louvre museum or the Tour Eiffel [tour means tower in French. – Ed.]. Yet, few tourists extend their cultural visit to take in what is often referred to as "the world's museum of modern architecture"—La Défense, Europe's largest business district.
This Manhattan-like area in the west of Paris is divided into 12 sectors and covers an area of more than 400 acres. It is home to the city's Grande Arche and its tallest high-rise buildings, which house over 1,500 businesses and 150,000 employees.
Revival Project for La Défense
On the list of modernization priorities is a commitment from the organisation responsible for the project, Etablissement Public d’Aménagement de la Défense (EPAD), to incorporate sustainable guidelines into the design of the new buildings. The planned structures will meet the latest environmental standards put in place by the EU, resulting in energy savings and global warming reductions.
Construction green lights were given for several key 300-320 meter (980 to 1,000 ft.) ‘sustainable’ skyscrapers—such as the Tour First, Tour Phare, Tour Generali and Tour Signal—designed by award-winning French architect Jean Nouvel. These architectural giants were to pave the way for greener, more sustainable design standards for building construction in the business centres throughout Europe and further afield—perhaps even New York City.
We have created a way of life dependent on economically healthy businesses. As they continue to flourish, it is our responsibility to ensure that business practices work in concert with our attempts to improve environmental quality. The buildings built and planned for Défense provide a few examples of what could and should become the global trend in construction. One of the pillars of sustainable development is the conservation of natural resources. This, at the very least, these projects firmly aim to do.
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